Excellent tour! Driver and tour guide Danny were were waiting for me right at the time they said they'd come pick me up. Since this was my first trip to China, Danny gave me one massive history lesson on the country, and it was actually very interesting! Learned more from him than I did in school. It was about a 2.5 hour drive from the hotel to the starting point, probably could've been a little quicker, but traffic happened, not a huge deal. Danny gave me the overall itinerary for the day, and it was spot on. Once we arrived at the starting point, this is your only real chance to use an actual restroom, so go! The first 1/3 of the hike was along restored wall, and I've got to say it's quite steep in some places. Definitely make sure you have good footing when walking. The remaining hike was on the original wall, and this is where the fun began. Much of it is straight-forward hiking, but there will be a little bit of climbing involved due to the condition of the wall. It was a perfect day weather-wise. Danny made sure there was plenty of water and provided some snacks along the way. You definitely want to wear long pants for this hike, and long sleeves would be recommended. It's not a simple hike, you'll want to make sure your somewhat in shape for it. All in all, I believe the hike was about 8km long, the perfect amount for me. I got to see what I wanted to see, the Great Wall settled in amongst the mountains and two reservoirs. It was an absolutely stunning hike. 10/10 would do again!
This was a great trip done on our time at our pace. The service and lunch was great. Our personal guide was very knowledgable about the wall. I learned several new details that were fascinating about the history of the Great Wall. I have been to Beijing twice before and was looking for a different experience for the Great Wall. This was by far awesome, but would have liked the option of going to the lake to capture the wall going into the lake. I would do this type of trip again.
I'm glad I booked this tour. Everything was excellent.
The travel company contacted me a few days prior to the tour to verify the hotel location and with some last minute hiking advice.
On the day of the tour, the tour guide and the driver arrived on time and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was the only person on this tour. The driver and car were very good and, despite the tour guides apologies for the ride being long due to the traffic, I did not mind at all. The ride was relaxing and I was in no hurry. I really enjoyed looking at the sites of the city and the scenic countryside, once out of the city. Along the way, we stopped at a local farmers market to pick up some fresh fruit to take with us, for our hike.
My tour guide was Miko and he is one awesome tour guide, well actually, he was more like a hiking buddy. He was very friendly, motivating, and his english was perfect. He made sure I completed the hike safely. He did not rush me, and was happy to stop and take my photograph, and allowed me to enjoy the view or stop to rest whenever I needed it. He had plenty of snacks and provided me with enough water for the hike.
The section of the wall we hiked, had two sections, one which is partially overgrown and has been left to deteriorate and a second portion which has been renovated but has very steep hills/stairs, so it was not very popular with tourists. This was an added bonus as I found that my tour guide and I had the wall to ourselves. We were able to complete the hike in peace without any competition from other tourists and plenty of photo opportunities without having to worry about being photo bombed.
After completing the hike, Miko and the driver held a small ceremony, for me, in which they presented I was awarded with the cerificate of completion of the hike. Then, Miko and the driver took me to a local restaurant for lunch. Prior to arriving at the restaurant, Miko was very considerate in asking me what type of foods I preferred and whether I had any allergies, so he could plan the meal, accordingly. The meal was very good and Miko did a good job at making sure he picked dishes that I could eat and that I liked.
All in all, it was a very memorable experience. It was a very personalized experience and appreciated the fact that I was the only person on the hike and that there were very little other people there.
The only advice that I have, for other tourists planning to book this, is to remember that it is not an normal/easy hike. It requires a bit more effort and fitness than you would think. Before getting to the wall, you have to hike up to it, on a trail that is very steep and overgrown. At times, you will be required to pull yourself up steep rocks or climb on your hands and knees. Be advised that there are thorn bushes and sharp branches, so bring long pants and long sleeves. Once on the wall, there are portions where you will be walking on sections without handrails or walls for protection and steep stair cases with uneven stairs or missing stairs. There are also sections with steep inclines that have very smooth slippery surfaces, so bring hiking shoes or sneakers with very good traction.
Despite all the difficulty, the effort was worth it as it allowed me to appreciate what it was like to build/defend the wall and I was surrounded by amazing scenery.
Thank you very MIKO! I enjoyed having you as a hiking buddy!
If you're an adventurer and want to get away from tourism crowds, this is the trip for you! The day planned unraveled exactly as the itinerary stated. The tour guide and driver were very professional, with plenty of information, and always had my safety as a top priority. This was the best way to experience the Great Wall. I could have hiked 10km more! It's rigorous, fun, and unforgettable.
This was our highlight for our recent trip to Beijing. Seeing the Great Wall was spectacular! James was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable of the history on the Trek. It was strenuous in the August heat. We were glad to have hiking clothing and sturdy shoes. Would recommend this adventure!
This was an awesome trip! Our tour guide, Miko called the night before to confirm our meeting time and place. He was right on time. Due to the excessive heat, we decided it was best to do half the hike 5 km rather than the 10 or so planned. The ride to and from the wall was beautiful. The views on the hike were incredible and lunch was excellent. I highly recommend this tour.
James gave a great tour. This was a lovely section, mostly wild and very few people. James adjusted his pace to suit us easily and was always courteous. He nearly got in a fight with one peddler trying to sell us trinkets, but he told us to go on. Best of all, the lunch was the best we had on the trip. We would certainly take a tour with James again the next time we visit.
I cannot rate James high enough. Our day today was outstanding! At the beginning of our trek, he asked my wife if she was afraid of heights. After a somewhat hesitant 'yes', he took her hand and helped her up and down the entire length of the wall. She couldn't have made the hike without his help.
What a great place to go trekking. We were the only 3 people on the wall the entire day. Amazing views. James was delightful he's knowledgeable about the wall, trekking, China history and culture, and Chinese and American basketball! He never pushed us the hike was challenging for us if we were happy, he was happy. He is our new hero.
We totally and completely recommend James. This is an experience we will never forget.
This has been the best tour that we have experience ever. Everything was perfect, the logistics, the transportation, the location and the food. We highly recommend the experience, it is an amazing hike with beautiful landscapes. We also think that we had the best guide, James was very professional, approachable, resourceful, fun and knowledgeable. We highly recommend the experience, especially if you love nature, hiking, photography and great food.
James tour did not let us down! This section of the wall is really photogenic and when we went we were literally the only people there which would not have been the case at Badaling.
James trekking experience and knowledge was faultless and I'd highly reccomend him to others!